January 20, 2012

Photographer Profile | Tyson Anderson

Hello everyone! One of the coolest unknown aspects of the Native fashion world is the fact that many of the designers work with Native models and Native photographers. So, to expand the Beyond Buckskin circle, I am starting to profile the individuals who bring us the images, yes, I'm talking about those lens-fierce Indians. Right now, I want to share with you some background info on Tyson Anderson, the artist behind Tyson Anderson Photography.

Tyson is a member of the Sayisi Dene First Nation, born and raised in northern Manitoba. This guy captures images that radiate with an anticipatory energy that comes when you take a deep breath in just before something major is about to happen. And, as you will see from the interview below, he is amazingly articulate and has an extraordinary story - Tyson is only 19.

"Look at life through the windshield, not the rear-view mirror."

When and why did you get into photography?
Creativity is something I've had all my life. I sketched all throughout my childhood and won art contests. Photography was my next creative outlet, I gained interest in cameras around the age of 11, I would constantly have a new disposable camera, I was so fascinated in capturing all the moments with my friends. I got my first digital camera when I was 13, I was 17 when I wanted to pursue model/fashion photography so my parents got me my first DSLR which I still use two years later.

What do you like to photograph?
My main interest is Fashion and Portraiture. I'm intrigued by attempting to capture emotion in people, whether it may convey heartbreak or confidence, I love it all! I also have my moments where I need solitude to clear my head so I take my Nikon and aimlessly adventure outdoors.

How would you define ‘beautiful’?
The most important component in making or breaking a photograph is confidence! Confidence is my definition of beautiful. People who possess this quality always make for a fun photo session.

What is something that a lot of people don’t know, but should know, about your home community?
There have actually been university assignments that involve researching the troubled history of my home community. The Sayisi Dene were once a nomadic tribe that followed herds of Caribou. I believe it was in the 1950s when the Government made the decision to relocate the people to Churchill, Manitoba, with promises of housing establishment. The promises failed to be met and hundreds became victims of poverty and died of alcoholism. In 1969 they decided to establish elsewhere, which then became the home reserve known as Tadoule Lake.

What do you want people to know about Native photographers like yourself?
People tend to get a misconception that I only photograph Natives, I fully intend on expanding my portfolio and working with people of all races. However I very much enjoy promoting Native talent and beauty through my photography. Winnipeg is probably the Native capital of Canada and there's quite a bit of negative connotation attached to "being Native" from my personal understanding and experiences, so I take pride in trying my best in displaying excellence and professionalism. There's also few Natives in my college photography course, I love representing Natives amongst my peers!

Click here to find Tyson Anderson Photography on Facebook.